DNF: The Story So Far (Sorta)

By Alec Meer on December 19th, 2007 at 4:58 pm.

My mum's getting married next year. I only mention it here because I'm fairly sure this is the only place in the world that this picture will be captioned by those words. It's like a Googlewhack, but even more futile.

While my RPS fellows have been celebrating Duke Nukem Forever Probably Trailer Day by either taking a pop at the game, or taking a pop at the entire rest of the world, I’ve been casually brushing up on a little bit of DNF history.

This here’s a repository of most of what 3D Realms headboy George Broussard has said about the game over the last couple of years. You may have read much of it as it happened, but it’s fun to try and turn it all into any kind of picture of what the game may be. The black box stops recording mid-way through last year, but there’s still some interesting stuff to be gleaned from it.

There’s a lot of pretty meaingless guff about how it won’t support PhysX cards and might be 8Gb big, but there’s also some gentle game theory in there. The complexities of the player being able to see his character’s feet, why optional weapon upgrades may not be a good idea, the problems of having an inventory rather than a set gun selection… It points somewhat towards a fairly classic-model shooter – which is no surprise. It’s very hard to picture DNF going down the Bioshock route, linearity aside. Personally, I’m expecting Halo 3 with gags.

That said, there’s a vague sense he’s bluffing a bit in response to some queries – a few of the quotes feel a little “yeah, sure, whatever, that too, probably,” which make it very hard to get any meaningful sense of what manner of beast this will be. I may be wrong there though; I’m a cyncial bugger.

More intruigingly, he also makes specific reference to a total reset for the game in 2003, and, if you can find it in your heart to treat that as a starting from scratch point, four to five years isn’t actually an unreasonable amount of time for an FPS that absolutely has to be a huge success.

And there’s even a spot of apology:

Unnamed questioneer: “I would have been happy playing two or three less than polished Duke PC titles just to keep the spirit alive rather than wait this out.”

George Broussard: “And I’m right there with you. I wish that had been an option. I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, we screwed up on early versions and made some mistakes. This hasn’t been a journey of perfection. It’s been a journey of just trying to finish what we started, and make it as cool as possible. I would love to have been on Duke 7 by now, but that’s not how things panned out. So all we can do is finish this game, and make it the best that we can, then move on. That’s what we’re trying to do now.”

Oh, and don’t forget about the above screenshot, snuck into in a 3D Realms job advert this May, which rather seems to match up with the art style of today’s new shot.

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6 Comments »

  1. Mouj says:

    All in all, seems to me all this is doing is building up the hype, somehow : finally, we’re all still talking about Duke, and we’re all eagerly waiting to see it’s long-awaited sequel.. Got to acknowledge that a hype built over a decade is one heck of an advertisment campaign !

  2. Garth says:

    Keep in mind this is exactly the type of Hype that works badly for them too. Because everyone is going to wait to see how it does — everyone wants to know if it will SUCCEED, not what it costs at EB.

    There was an awful amount of rhyme in that…

  3. Phil says:

    Huge hype can turn to anti-hype before you blink if your core demographic is geeks and everything isn’t just so – look at Playstation 3, Lost season 3 and to a lesser extent our dearly beloved Bioshock.

  4. Paul says:

    Seems like the twitch gamer that was itching for this game 10 years ago has grown up and moved on to other things. The twitch gamer of today has no interest in the Duke, never having played the original. I think the game is up for a big fall. I truly pity 3D Realms position; they painted themselves into a wall long ago. I wonder if it’s even worth putting the game out at all since it will cost millions more in marketing.

  5. solios says:

    Phil : Those are good examples, but let’s not forget the Star Wars prequels. Huge steaming turds the lot of them, yet they still raked it in hand over fist.

    DNF doesn’t have to be the second coming of awesome. It just needs to be fun. And since we won’t know if it’s going to be fun until it’s actually, yanno… done….